The Corps is looking for more female infantry officers, according to an administrative message released in early August.
It looks to give early career officers a chance to lateral move from their current military occupational specialty into the infantry field, in the hopes of boosting the number of female infantry captains and lieutenants.
“There is a cohort of company grade officers who were not given an opportunity to compete for the 0302 MOS during their time at The Basic School due to policies that restricted women from serving in the infantry and other combat arms,” Yvonne Carlock, a spokeswoman with Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs, told Marine Corps Times in a Monday email.
The Marine Corps does not have a target for how many female Marines it hopes will attempt the Infantry Officer Course, Carlock said in the email.
There is no infantry officer shortage, she added, but the solicitation is part of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s goal of increasing diversity among infantry officers.
In February Berger took to Twitter to make a call for more company grade female infantry officers.
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But in the months since the tweets, little has changed when it comes to female Marines in the infantry.
Seek qualified active duty female company-grade volunteers for the opportunity to attend Infantry Officers Course and assignment to infantry battalions upon completion. To also include additional lateral moves for female Marines seeking careers in previously restricted MOS. (7/8)
— David H. Berger (@CMC_MarineCorps) February 21, 2020
Since 2016 only 11 female Marine officers have attempted the arduous 13-week infantry officer course and only two have passed, one earning the 0302 military occupational specialty and the other going on to become an 0203 ground intelligence officer, Carlock told Marine Corps Times.
The first female Marine to pass the course, Marina Hierl, already has the left the Marine Corps as a captain, leaving it with no active female platoon leaders, Marine Corps Times previously reported.
The second female Marine to graduate from the course currently is serving as the assistant intelligence officer for 7th Marines, Maj. Kendra Motz, a spokeswoman for the 1st Marine Division, told Marine Corps Times in a Wednesday email.
To be eligible for the lateral move, female Marine officers must have graduated from The Basic School before January 2016, when they did not have the opportunity to attempt IOC.
Marines with the MOS of naval aviator or unmanned aircraft systems officer are not eligible for the lateral move attempt, according to the MARADMIN.
Officers who have been considered for promotion to major are also barred from attempting IOC, the MARADMIN said.
Those interested and eligible have until Sept. 30 to submit their packets. The course will begin in January 2021.
Those who are accepted into the program will be sent to the Marines awaiting training platoon at TBS 45 days to 60 days before the IOC course starts to help “refresh perishable tactical and field skills as well as critical combat and physical conditioning,” the MARADMIN said.
If the female officers earn the 0302 MOS they will incur a 36 month service obligation.